Today we have Amber @ One Shabby Chick with us, and I am so happy about that!
Amber is a lovely, talented gal who loves her family, her sewing machine and the beach (try not to be jealous, but she lives in Hawaii!). Amber's love of sewing and fabric really spills over into her wonderful fabric combinations and unique machine-quilting designs. I always look forward to seeing what she is making!
One thing that Amber has lots of experience in is craft fairs. She participates in a number of them throughout the year, and she is sharing her knowledge with us today.
Let's see what Amber has to say:
Hi, my name is Amber and I blog over at One Shabby Chick. Randi asked me to share some craft fair tips here with all of you.
I participate in local craft fairs every year. They are a great way to meet new customers and get the word out about your business and it’s really fun – I think of it as a little pop-up shop I get to have for a day!
I subscribe to a local craft fair bulletin online that shows most of the local craft fairs available and gives you contact information for each one. It’s only $10 a year and is so worth it! You can look online or ask around to other crafters and see if there is something similar in your area. You need to sign up for most craft fairs months in advance so filling out applications and getting them in on time is very important or you could miss out!
I also choose craft fairs that do not have a high booth fee (right now the most expensive one I do is $95). And when you first start out you might want to try one that is even cheaper. This way you don’t have too much risk should it be the wrong crowd/area/time of year. There are always hits and misses – you will find you do really well at one craft fair and then at another you may only sell one thing. You just have to find where your market is and participate in craft fairs in that same type of area.
I live in Hawaii so most of the craft fairs here are outside. This requires that I supply my own tent, tables and any other display items that I need. It varies at each craft fair – there are some craft fairs where you just pay for a table in a cafeteria or banquet hall. I prefer a larger area since I normally make way too much stuff for each fair – ha ha!
I usually pack my car up the day before a craft fair as most require you to have your booth set up pretty early and you want to make sure you are ready that morning. I have done it enough times now that I have a system for loading up the car and know which props I need from my house – I usually take a bench or two and a shoe rack that I use as shelves – just look around your house and I’m sure you will find a couple unique items you can use for your display.
I always make sure I have plenty of change the day before too. It will depend on how big the craft fair is but you will probably need between $100-$200 in 10’s, 5’s and 1’s. Now that I have a Square (which I HIGHLY recommend – it has made a huge difference in sales – and it’s free to sign-up) I don’t need as much change but there are still lots of people that come to craft fairs with cash.
Plan to take a small cooler with drinks and snacks (and even lunch). That way you aren’t spending any of your earnings on food and you will be prepared if there are no food vendors or if they sell out of food (or if it just isn’t good!). And chairs – unless they supply them with your booth…cause you don’t want to be standing all day!
Business cards are important as well – you want to have plenty so you can pass them out to everyone. And don’t panic if you don’t have any sales right at first or have sloooow patches. It happens – a lot! Just remember some craft fairs are more of a learning opportunity and you might get a regular customer from one of those business cards you passed out!
Thank you so much, Amber!
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***All photographs are Amber's and are used with her permission.